The Congress party is debating holding a general election in November, six months ahead of schedule, senior party leaders said, reflecting an internal discussion over whether to pull the plug on the shaky ruling coalition or have it serve a full term. Full Article
Afghanistan's Karzai seeks Indian military aid amid tensions with Pakistan. Full Article
Ayodhya mosque report puts BJP on the mat
NEW DELHI |
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The government on Tuesday published a long awaited report, recently leaked, accusing Bhatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders of a role in the 1992 destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, dealing a blow to an already-weak opposition.
The findings of the inquiry into the mosque demolition, which sparked some of the worst religious riots since Partition in 1947, are a huge embarrassment for the BJP, the biggest opposition in parliament.
The BJP has already been plagued by internal fighting after a string of defeats in federal and state elections this year.
"It is a body blow to the BJP and it will go against their attempt to project itself as a moderate party, and hamper their chances severely in coming elections," said political analyst Amulya Ganguli.
Hindu mobs demolished the 16-century mosque in the north Indian town, claiming it stood on the birthplace of their god-king Rama. Riots between Hindus and Muslims left hundreds dead across India.
The report, 17 years in the making, says some of India's best known politicians -- including former Prime Minister Aal Behari Vajpayee and opposition leader Lal Krishna Advani did little to stop the destruction despite knowing of plans to demolish it.
Angry BJP lawmakers shouted slogans against the government minutes after the report was tabled in parliament.
"The findings of the commission are perverse, ill-founded and against the evidence placed before the commission," said Sushma Swaraj, a senior BJP leader.
The government decided to publish the report on Tuesday after excerpts were leaked to the Indian Express newspaper.
Both Advani and Vajpayee have said the demolition was a spontaneous act and have denied they orchestrated the mobs.
"If what is written is correct, the conclusions are false and ridiculous," Advani told parliament on Monday.
"There was no conspiracy, no planning. I myself have told the commission it was the saddest day of my life."
(Additional reporting by Nigam Prusty; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this